Like a scoop of ice cream | Inquirer Opinion
High Blood

Like a scoop of ice cream

I congratulate the editors of the Opinion section for creating a space to enable its sixtysomething-and-above readers to traipse along the High Blood lane.

When I turned 60 and started to experience shortness of breath and premature-beat counts, I challenged myself to set foot on that road.

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My article “Medical tests” broke into print on July 21, 1997. That was 20 years ago!

The year 2001 saw the advent of technology. Almost everybody was into texting. I, a senior citizen, was soon caught in its web.

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“Texting at 64” (High Blood, 11/9/01) was published a few weeks before my retirement. Mon Isberto of Smart Communications called me up after reading my article. Among my prized possessions is a Nokia 3310 which he gave me as a birthday gift.

“Letting go” (High Blood, 4/3/03) was a tribute to the life and times of my mother. I was at her bedside when she passed away in a hospital in New York on Sept. 10, 2002, the eve of the first anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. I cried a river writing that article.

A homecoming is always a joyful time. “May and reunions” (High Blood, 6/25/03) was an unforgettable event for our High School Class of 1953 of St. Agnes Academy-Legaspi City. Gold with its lovely yellow color and soft metallic glow permeated our beings and filled our senses.

I wrote “Teaching: the joys and laughter” (High Blood, 11/4/04) to cushion the effects of the teachers’ strikes and rallies. Underpaid and overworked, many had left the country. Still there were those who believed that they could help mold, shape and fashion not only the mind but also the heart and soul of every child.

In a related article in another section of the Inquirer, “Bridge between soul and soul” (6/20/09), I highlighted teachers’ woes as regards low salaries, lack of classrooms, enrollment, etc.

The only government official who reacted to my piece was then Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay. In his letter dated June 30, 2009, he wrote: I have always believed that education is the greatest social equalizer. And those who teach should be justly rewarded for their hard work and dedication to shaping the minds of the heirs and custodians of the country’s future.

Turning sixtysomething did not dampen my enthusiasm to live each day as it comes and make that day as pleasurable and as memorable as possible. Most of my after-retirement plans have yet to be carried out: Fix photo albums, take up painting lessons, tidy up closets bursting at the seams with clothes that seemed to have shrunk in size and pairs and pairs of shoes that were causing the throbbing pain of bunions, etc.

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“Keeping fit at 68” (High Blood, 11/1/05) included tips to counter the occurrence of cellular degenerative phenomena, cardiovascular and pulmonary disorders, and varied psychological changes prevalent in one reaching the senescent stage in life.

A wonderful world awaits the sixtysomething and above who continue to go up the ladder of life. Steps are short and measured, backs are a bit bent and knees are now weaker.

“Finding joy in sharing” (High Blood, 5/24/11) goes inside the Unilab world via the United Bayanihan Foundation, an organization of Unilab retirees. Through carefully planned yearlong activities like outreach programs and medical missions, the foundation has served as a wellspring of hope, joy and strength in the lives of the elderly.

Yes, life is unpredictable. There will be various things and events about which we can never know.

After 20 years many of us, the sixtysomething-and-above contributors to High Blood have reached the 80th step of the ladder. And yet, we await each day with this in mind:

“Wake up happy, laugh out loud, hum a tune, whisper a prayer and savor a memory. Life is like a scoop of ice cream, taste it and enjoy it before it melts.”

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Vilma Regidor Taroy says she believes that writing helps make her life better as she grows older.

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TAGS: aging, High Blood, Mon Isberto, smart communications, Vilma Regidor Taroy
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